Lessons From a Dysfunctional Family

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Sermon Overview
Scripture Passage: Hebrews 11:20

Family was first established by God in the Garden of Eden. Knowing family is a gift of God, the enemy has waged a war against the home. Hebrews 11 reveals lessons from a dysfunctional family and offers hope for those who face unrest in the home.

“By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come” (Hebrews 11:20).

This passage looks back to the story of twin brothers Jacob and Esau in Genesis 25. They were the sons of Isaac and Rebekah, and together, they were a family plagued by favoritism, deception, and betrayal.

Esau, the eldest, sold Jacob his birthright for a bowl of stew. This small act of foolishness propelled a lifetime of dysfunction.

Genesis 27 goes on to reveal the failure of a dysfunctional family.

Isaac, the sensual father on his deathbed, blessed the wrong son for the wrong reasons. He was a man who lived for the things of this world and ended his life in sorrow. He represents many fathers who live self-centered lives, giving in to their appetites.

There is also Rebekah, the scheming mother who, favoring Jacob, helped him take the birthright from Esau. As a result, she lost the son she was trying to bless. Then there’s Jacob, the shady son, who connived his way to Esau’s birthright.

Yet, God was at work in this family; there was still faith in the disciplined father. Shaken by what he had done, Isaac came to his senses and returned to the Word of God.

Finally, this family reflects the forecast of a determined future.

Having returned to his faith, Isaac blessed both sons in the name of God, on the authority of Scripture. Yet, he had the foresight to know the godly lineage would come from Jacob.

Adrian Rogers says, “It is God who is moving history to a conclusion, and the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ.”

Apply it to your life
Remember these deeply convicting words from Adrian Rogers: “The best thing any father could do is give his heart to Jesus. The best thing any mother could do is trust her children to Jesus and quit scheming. The best thing any child could do is stand on the promises of God, our birthright—the One who has blessed us with all heavenly blessings in Christ Jesus.”



God formed family before God formed the government, before God formed education before God formed the church or anything else. The basic unit of society is the family. And it is little wonder that there is a war on the family and today we’re going to find an amazing story of a dysfunctional family. But we’re going to see that there was amazing grace for this family and there can be for yours. Adrian Rogers ability to apply biblical truth to everyday life was one of the many things that made him such a remarkable pastor, teacher and writer today on love worth finding. He’ll be bringing that uniqueness to this series of messages that were calling champions of faith. Have your bibles open to hebrews chapter 11 and join us for today’s message. And this message is an encouragement to you remember you can stream this message again and download Pastor Rogers outline notes and other resources to go along with this message all at L WF dot org. Now, let’s join Adrian Rogers. Now the title, the message today is lessons from a dysfunctional family you say pastor. How did you know about my family? Well, there are a lot of dysfunctional families. The family is meant to be the seminary of Heaven, but I’m afraid for many it is an incubator of hell. There is a war on the family and satan is systematically trying to dismantle the family. The first institution that God ever created was the family. And he did that in the garden of Eden to meet the deepest spiritual psychological, emotional and physical needs of mankind. It is an institution of God and God formed family before God formed the government before God formed education before God formed the church or anything else. The basic unit of society is the family and it is little wonder that there is a war on the family and today friend, there are so many dysfunctional families, it just seems that there is a war on the home. But there is hope. Now look here, if you will in Hebrews chapter 11 in verse 20 and our Hebrews verses only one verse today by faith, Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come Now. It’s just one verse in the new testament but it relates back to an incredible amount of material in the old testament. So put your bookmark there in Hebrews chapter 11 and go backward with me to genesis chapter 25. Now genesis the first book in the bible that’s easy to find. And when you found it, we’re gonna find an amazing story of a dysfunctional family. But we’re going to see that there was amazing grace for this family and there can be for yours genesis 25 I want to begin reading uh in verse 24 I want to read 10 verses to you. It’s a background for all that we’re going to say. Now there was a man named Isaac Isaac had a precious wife named Rebecca and Rebecca prayed and Isaac prayed that they might have Children. God answered the prayer and opened Rebecca’s womb and she had twins. And now we’re going to break in in genesis 25 verse 24. And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled. Behold, there came, there were twins in her womb and the first came out red all over like a hairy garment. That’s that’s an amazing thing that for a child to have red hair. Uh in many places that babies don’t have hair. And they called his name Esau and after that came his brother out and his name and his hand took hold on esos. He’ll twins are being born. The first one is red and harry. The second one comes out and we’re gonna find out later. He’s very smooth skin but he, the little guys holding on to his twins hell. And his name was called Jacob and Isaac was three score years old when she bear them. Isaac now sixties having his twins. And the boys grew and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field. And Jacob was a plain man. That literally means a smooth man, smooth skinned man dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Jacob because he did eat of his venison. And Rebecca loved Jacob two boys twins. But friend I’m here to tell you, they were not identical twins. And already we’re going to find out that there’s trouble brewing in the family because there is preferential treatment uh and uh favorites. The father has for his favorite of these twins Sa uh the father looks to Sa and the mother has for her favorite uh Jacob and Jacob became mother’s pet. Now notice in verse 29 Jacob sod pottage, plain english, he cooked a stew and sa came from the field and was faint and he saw said to Jacob feed me, I pray thee with that same red pottage for I am faint. Therefore was his name called Adam. And Jacob said sell me this day my birthright and Sa said behold I’m at the point to die what profit shall this birthright do to me. And Jacob said swear to me this day and he’s swearing to him and he sold his birthright under Jacob then Jacob gave, he saw bread and pottage of lentils and he did eat and drink and rose up and went his way and Esau despised his birthright. Now you’ve got to get the picture. Now what was the birthright? The birthright was the blessing of Abraham. Remember that God called Abraham and God said Abraham, I’m going to make your blessing to all the nations of the world. And that blessing is going to come through your descendants. And so the first descendant was Isaac and now the next descendant is going to be Jacob and then from Jacob is going to come his sons, the 12 tribes of Israel and on and on until you come to messiah. This this is the blessing of Abraham. It involved protection, It involved prominence. It involved prophecy. It involved all of the things that were wrapped up in this blessing called the Birthright. Now here the stage is set. And so these two brothers have gone through this deal. Now the irony of this thing, the irony of this whole deal is the birthright already belonged to Jacob. But Jacob by nature is what we would call a schemer, a con artist. Now the stage is set for our story today as we’re gonna be talking about lessons from a dysfunctional family. Are you ready? The first thing I want you to see is what I’m going to call the failure of a dysfunctional fam family. If there was ever a family that could be described as a dysfunctional family, it had to be this family. Now. I began reading genesis 27 verse one this time and it came to pass that when Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called, he saw his eldest son and said unto him, my son. And he said unto him, behold here am I! And he said, behold now I’m old, I know not the day of my death now, therefore I pray thee, take. Now take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow and go out to the field and take me some venison that is um s son go out and kill a deer for me and make me savory meat such as I love and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless thee before I die. And Rebecca heard when Isaac spake to sa his son and sa went to the field to hunt for venison and to bring it. Now drama is about to unfold. The the stage is set And on center stage or four of the most incredibly a new spiritual individuals you’ve ever seen. They make the core of this dysfunctional family. I want you to look at them. First of all enter the sensual father. The sensual father is Isaac Isaac uh says uh go out and kill some venison and bring it to me savory meat that I may eat. And then I’m going to bless you now he’s going to bless the wrong son and he’s gonna bless the wrong son for the wrong reason. Your father’s listen to me. This is not just history. Here’s a lesson for you. There are so many fathers today in America who are doing exactly the same thing. They care not for the things of God and they have a plan for their Children, but they never sought the will of God for their Children and these men are mastered by their appetites, by alcohol, by sports, by business, by pleasure, by sex or whatever it is. These are so sensual fathers who are heading up dysfunctional families and they’re bringing all kinds of damage to the family. It may be you here was Isaac. He is a sensual father. That’s the first person in this drama. Now enter the second person and that is not the sensual father. But the scheming mother uh Rebecca now has been eavesdropping. She’s in on the deal. And so she decides that she’s going to contravene what Isaac has done. She’s not submissive to her husband. And she is outside of the will of God because she’s trying this time to do a right thing the wrong way genesis 27. Now, begin in verse six. And Rebecca, spake unto Jacob. Her son. Now remember Jacob was her pet saying, behold, I heard thy father speak to Esau thy brother saying, Bring me venison and make me savory meat that I may eat, and bless the before the Lord before my death. Now, therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that, which I command thee go now to the flock and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats that is. You go get to real tender little goat little goats, and I will make them savory meat for thy father, such as he love it. She’s saying, look, son, go out there and get to little goats. We’ll kill them. I know how to fix them. I can fool your father. He will think it is venison when I get finished with it. I know how to do it. Evidently. She was quite a culinary expert. Thou shalt bring it verse 10 to thy father, that he may eat, that he may bless me before his death. And Jacob said, Rebecca’s mother behold he saw my brother is a hairy man and I’m a smooth man. My father per adventure, will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver, and I shall bring a curse upon me and not a blessing. And his mother said unto him upon me, Be thy curse! And my son only obey my voice and go fetch them. Now, Jacob was not the last son to ever be hurt by a scheming mother. Now the birthright already belong to Jacob. Jacob. Rebecca was trying to do the right thing, but she’s trying to do the right thing the wrong way. She’s become dishonest. If the devil can’t keep you from doing the wrong thing, he’ll try to get you to do the right thing. A wrong way. And here is this mother who is scheming. She’s trying to protect her son. You listen to me. Listen, Mom, she lost the very son that she was trying to protect. As you read this episode. It is not soon until Jacob is driven from home and he saw his on his trail ready to kill him, ready to murder her pet son, that she loved mother. The best way you can do to keep your child. The best thing you can do to keep your child is to give him away to God and to trust him to God and not to your scheming. So you have a sensual father. Now you have a scheming mother. Now here’s the third participant who comes into this drama and it’s what I want to call a shady son. Now if there was ever a guy that was shady, it was old Jacob now was Jacob, good or bad. Well Esau despised his birthright. Jacob wanted it. Jacob wanted the right thing. He had a heart for God, but he couldn’t trust God for the blessing was already his. And by trying rather than trusting he begins to get into all of these deals where he trades stew for the birthright that was already his and now he tries to deceive his old father to get what was already his and he’s like so many christians today who are scheming and trying when they ought to be trusting God and putting things into the hands of God. You see God has blessed us. We have a birthright Ephesians one and verse three says blessed be God and the father of our Lord jesus christ who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in christ jesus, but there are many christians and many of this building today who are very much like old Jacob trying to get the right thing the wrong way, the birthright was his already he was fighting a battle already lost rather than enjoying a victory already won many in this building. Don’t understand the victory that God has given you. And the Lord, jesus christ, now essential, Father! A scheming mother, a shady son. And now a sorry brother. Uh enter the last one. And this is old. He saw himself genesis 27 verse 30. And it came to pass as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob. And Jacob was yet scarce gone from the presence of his father that he saw. His brother came in from hunting and he also had made savory meat and brought it under his father and said to his father, let my father arise and eat of his son’s venison, that thy soul may bless me! And Isaac! His father said unto him, who are you? Who art thou? And he said, I’m thy son, thy firstborn Esau! And Isaac underscored this trembled very exceedingly, and said, who, where is he that hath taken venison and brought it to me, and I’ve eaten of all before that chemists and have blessed him ye! And he shall be blessed! And when he saw heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry and said it to his father, blessed me even also! Oh, my father! And he said, thy brother came with subtlety, and had taken away thy blessing. And he said, is not he rightly named Jacob the name. Jacob literally means Sir Planter or conniver, for he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright. And behold now he has taken away my blessing. And he said hast thou not reserved a blessing for me? And Isaac answered and said. And he said behold I have made him thy Lord and all his brethren, have I given to him for servants and with corn and wine? Have I sustained him? And what shall I do now into the my son? And sa said unto his father? Hast thou but one blessing my father bless me, even me also o my father and sa lifted up his voice and wept. Now here was a man who was living for the things of this world. He cared not for the birthright. What a messed up family this family is. And yet God was at work in this family And God did something for this family. And I want you to see that God can do something for you. So what we’re talking about first of all is the failure of a dysfunctional family. Now look at the faith of a disciplined father. By the way, if the family is wrong, most likely the father is wrong. Now notice that when Isaac really realized what has happened, he comes in here, he eats the venison. He thinks it’s wonderful, he smells the clothes that are on uh on uh Jacob because Rebecca putting Issacs coat on Jacob and Isaac holds him. And so yeah, there’s the smell of the field. He’s he’s a man and outdoors there’s the woodsy smell on his clothes and then he feels uh Jacob’s hands. And Rebecca had taken the goat skins of that goat and had put those goat skins on the back of Jacob’s smooth hands and on the nape of his neck. And old Isak now is listening and and feeling and touching and smelling all of his senses are deceiving him and he has blessed the wrong son. But then it dawns on him what he has done. And the bible says that he trembles exceeding land that is he is shaken to the core. God now has shown him what a fool he has been, God chastened all Isaac and he may chasing you. Now, here’s the third and final thing. That’s what I want to call the forecast of a determined future. Now, remember our text remember our text back in Hebrews chapter 11 verse 20. The bible says by faith, by faith. Here was a man who blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. Our future here is forecast. Look, if you will in genesis 28 1 through four and Isaac called Jacob and blessed him, skip on down to verse four. I will give thee the blessing of I will give the blessing of Abraham to thee and to thy seed with thee that thou missed inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger which God gave to Abraham. Now here’s the point. Here’s the point. God is never out of business. In spite of all that Jacob and Esau could do. Jacob got the blessing anyway. In spite of all that Isaac And Rebecca could do Jacob got the blessing anyway. Now, here’s the point. Man may rule, but God will overrule. Here is the sovereignty of God. Let me give you two verses here, proverbs 19 verse 21. There are many devices in a man’s heart. Nevertheless, the counsel of the Lord. Nevertheless, the counsel of the Lord that shall stand. And then again in psalm 33 verse 10, the Lord brings the council of the heathen to nought. He make it the devices of the people of none effect. Now, this is a strange thing. Were these people responsible for what they did? Absolutely. Uh were they culpable? Absolutely. Was was Isaac wrong to be central? Yes. Was Rebecca wrong to scheme? Yes. Was Jacob wrong to connive Yes. Was wrong to despise the birthright? Yes. But yet over it all is almighty God, God is working and God is ruling. Now, how does that apply to us? God made a promise to Abraham. God said to Abraham Abraham, in you, all the nations of the world will be blessed. And I’m telling you what God has said all hell cannot annul. Now, what is going to happen is this, God gave the blessing to Abraham. Abraham has given the blessing to Isaac, Isaac is giving the blessing to Jacob. Jacob is giving the blessing to his sons to Judah out of Judah is going to come the house of jesse. Out of jesse is going to come. David out of David is going to come uh the lineage of mary and joseph and out of the lineage of mary and joseph is going to come. The Lord, jesus christ and God is at work. Now I said there’s some lessons from a dysfunctional family. I’m gonna give you five lessons. I’m just gonna take them off and I want you to learn them and I want you to learn them well. Number one, dysfunctional families produce dysfunctional kids. Number two. Our fathers priorities often determine the family’s function sir. If your family is wrong, most likely you’re wrong. I’ve been preaching long enough to see this that it is the father’s priorities that determine the families function. # three parents have great power to bless or to curse. If you only understood the incredible power, you have to bless your Children. Not a day that goes by that I know of that Joyce and I when we’re together, do not bless our Children in prayer. I believe in the power of the blessing next. We cannot always choose for our Children. Don’t get the idea that you can determine which way your Children are going to go. I wish you could but you cannot. You cannot. God has given your Children a will. Sometimes parents take credit for good Children when they shouldn’t. Sometimes parents take blame for bad Children when they should not. God gave your child a will. And you cannot take credit if your child turns out to serve God and you can’t take blame. If your child doesn’t, you do the best. You can. I’ve already said, I’ve already said that dysfunctional families tend to produce dysfunctional Children. I’ve already said that a father of faith can see set the standard for the family. All of these things are true. I’m not giving you an excuse not to be a godly parent. But I’m saying there has to come a time when we understand that God allows Children to have a will of their own. And I’m glad that he does. Because had he not, I could have no more fellowship with my Children than I could have with that pin God does not make us robots. God gives us all a will and we must love our Children and pray for our Children and thank God when they turn out good. I want you to learn this that no matter what happens in this world, no matter how society may disintegrate. No matter how families may fail and unravel. I am telling you, you listen to your pastor day, man’s failure cannot nullify God’s sovereignty. God is sovereign and by faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come and what are those things to come. I’ll tell you what things to come. Our, that jesus is going to rain here on this earth, that Isaac prophecy of a coming messiah. Isaac prophecy. The Godly Line Isaac prophecies the birthright years ago men thought that perhaps one day we could connect the east and the west by railroad called the transcontinental railroad. And so they got a plan and they began to lay the tracks for that con transcontinental railroad and a ribbon of steel began in the east and a ribbon of steel began in the west and closer and closer they got still out there in the west when they were both about to meet, they brought locomotives from each side there and the people were there and the governors of the States were there and they were laying the last ties and the last rails and the last uh spikes were being driven. They had one final spike, a golden spike, it was to be driven in with a silver hammer. And this was to connect the east and the west. And there came a time when the governor took that silver hammer and that golden spike and drove it in and those locomotives began to blow with the steam and the people shouted and the people applauded because now east and west were brought together, Friend man has been divided from almighty God, there’s a chasm of sin, but the Lord jesus christ hung on a cross. And when they drove that last spike, not a golden spike, but a rusty nail into his hand. That warm red blood began to flow down, drip off his elbows, down across his rib cage from his feet and down to the ground. And jesus said, it is finished, nobody cheered the demons of hell marked. But Jesus brought together my sin, sick soul and the fellowship of the father and on his cross he reconciled God and man. Did you know that’s what hebrews 11 verse 20 is talking about by faith. By faith, Isaac bless these boys of things to come. The bible is a wonderful book. Now are you willing by faith to receive by faith? What Isaac saw by faith are you? Would you bow your heads in prayer. Friend may I have another moment of your time. If you prayed and asked Jesus christ to come into your heart and it’s best you know, you have given all you know of you all, you know of jesus, I rejoice with you and I would rejoice all the more. If you would write to us and let us know what a thrill it is to know that people are coming to jesus christ and we will send you some literature. No cost free. We’ll be happy to send it to you. If you just write us and let us know that you have become a believer in jesus christ This literature will help you to get a solid start in your christian life, we hope that you’ve been encouraged by these character studies from Hebrews Chapter 11 that we’re calling champions of Faith. You can stream this message again, share this message with a friend and download other resources related to this message all at L WF dot org or the my L WF app while you’re there, be sure to check out our new bible studies on today’s topic as well as many other topics at L WF dot org. You can also subscribe to our day, daily heartbeat emails. Each heartbeat contains a daily devotional from Adrian Rogers 90 seconds. A profound truth also from Adrian Rogers as well as a link to our daily radio program, all in one place, delivered directly to your computer or mobile device each day, or you can catch up with our program each week on our facebook page or Youtube channel and on the my L WF app. Thanks for joining us for today’s message. We’ll see you next time. Well, early on in my ministry, I decided I wanted our people to be grounded in the faith. So I began to teach new christians what I considered to be the basic fundamental truths of the christian life, something they could put the bible in one hand and this book in the other and say yes, that is truth, not only truth to understand, but truth to live by at love worth finding our mission is to bring people to christ and help them grow deeper in their faith through the timeless biblical teaching of Adrian Rogers and to thank you for your gift to the ministry. This month, we want to send you this new discipleship resource that what every christian ought to know, mentoring tool designed to be completed daily alongside another believer. You can start today by calling 1 806 47 94 100 or give online at L WF dot org and thank you for your generous support.

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Known for his evangelistic zeal and uncompromising commitment to the Word of God, Adrian Rogers was one of the greatest preachers, respected Bible teachers, and Christian...

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